A New Chapter

 

The last couple of weeks have been pretty big for me. I recently turned 50, YAY ME!  It was the perfect time to resolve to come to terms with my retirement, (I announced it to every one), come out of my shell a bit more, focused on healing and in turn plot a clearer path to help others.

A major part of healing for me I believe lies in helping others who are facing the same types of difficulties and those who have no idea what we live with understand a bit more about why we are “JFU” (just fu&#%d up).  While I am in no position to speak for any one, and there are as many different stories of First Responder PTSD/PTSI as there are people dealing with it, I do understand so much more than two years ago and know there have to be a multitude of people who were just like me and just don’t get what happened to them or why.

I was asked to be involved with a new group starting at my college (Mendocino College) focused on healing though art.  I was super honored and excited!  Hopefully, it will bring some peace of mind and a new form of expression to people dealing with the “gift that keeps on giving”.  I will be posting some of my art work in a new catagory here, and hopefully will have a bit to choose from for the art show in early fall 2016 to kick off the new group.

I am going to have my second manuscript, the first chapter of my PTSI story, critiqued tomorrow in Creative Writing English class.  Kinda nervous about that one but also can’t  wait to get feed back from 20 people.  I edited it twice and still found a few mistakes!  Thinking about real incidents and the nightmares, smells and thoughts associated with PTSD on an in depth scale was nothing like I expected.  I really hope it is well received and I can take it to a new level in the near future.

More soon, cheers!

Finding Chicken Sutra

So, I’ll just put it out there… I’m a bit bonky over chickens.  I never cared for birds much and then one day, about five and a half years ago, we ran out of eggs. I decided it would never happen again and we have had chickens ever since.  I don’t particularly like eggs, I have never really fancied them.  I don’t kill our flock for food (Lord knows the blood and meat at the market is enough to set me on a panic attack).  We have had some rough patches such as two sets of predator attacks.  The first time only our Barred Rock, Pepper, survived.  The most recent attack by a bobcat I chased off could have been the end of my chicken farming, but I just can’t seem to shake it.

I’m living in a different place and moving my chickens there.  Not only have I missed taking care of them, they need more attention, people time and I worry about them way too much when I can’t see and hear them often.  In addition to my sweet little Confetti and frizzle Cochins, our foster rabbit will live in the new run.  The rabbit formerly known as Fluffy is now called Cadbury.  The Cadbury Bunny after all lays eggs and lives with chickens, right?

Cadbury was given to us by my niece after he grew too big for her daughter to pick up.  I like raising rabbits and had just read about keeping rabbits and chickens together which I was  curious about trying anyway, must have been meant to be.  This has been a wildly successful venture. Cadbury is very kind and docile.  He is the perfect hospital mate when an ill or injured chicken needs to be separated from the flock.  He does groom his friends a bit too efficiently on rare occasions, clipping a feather once in a while, but he doesn’t bother wounds or startle easily and loves to help keep the patient warm.  My daughter calls the infirmary her ICCU, Intensive Critter Care Unit. Do they make naughty nurse costumes for rabbits?  I find myself being a bit carried away trying to set it all up.  Finding the right run, predator proofing the top, revamping an old dogloo doghouse for a coop, and the like.  I want to reuse and recycle as much as I can.  Not only am I huge penny pincher, I’m on a tight budget.  Old fence boards and used 4×4’s are awesome.

Two of my friends have been invaluable helping put all of this together. One was out with me in the dark tonight until 10 PM while I moved cages and fiddled about. The other insisted on working in 106° weather on a stand for the coop to be on and Cadbury’s nighttime crate to set on and slide out for easy cleaning.  I’m so grateful I had no idea where to start on that stand.

I’d like to create a more natural setting than our large breed poultry coop and run since these small birds will not free range as much as the larger fowl.  This is primarily because of our Buff Orpington rooster, Bo.  Bo was originally named Dorothy…he weighs in around fourteen pounds now.  He is a very good hen protector and provider, however to any women or children he is a big jerk.  I’m sure Bo would kill my four pound frizzle roo,  Kevin, for hormonal blood sport and kill the two pound girls by crushing them if he tried to be amorous.

I’ll try to post some pictures tomorrow of the progress and direction we’re heading.